In the United States, private companies are not required to divulge financial information, and while one can sometimes find sales or revenues mentioned in the press, the data are not usually available to the public. This is the approach AtoZ databases takes to provide estimates of companies' financials:
- They receive company lists from third party vendors. Because these are mostly private companies, financials are not included since they are usually not available.
- The US Dept. of Commerce provides Revenue-per-employee data by Industry. AtoZ databases takes that revenue per employee number and multiplies it by the number of employees.
- They call the company to verify their estimate of the total Sales volume of a business. If a business does not respond to the call, AtoZ uses their own model/algorithm based on location, industries, and similar businesses.
- AtoZ databases does not undertake any research in published sources to see whether a particular private company has made any of their financial data known. In the rare event that a private company reports some financials to AtoZ, then that overrides the data generated from the algorithm, but there is no way to flag the private company records that have a “manual” revenue input.
As far as margin of error, that is hard to say. AtoZ has confidence in their proprietary algorithm which includes location, SIC code, revenue for similar companies in the area, employee size, and a variety of other factors. It is likely as best an estimation as one can get.